On Saturday night, the Rockets fell to the Spurs on the road 121-103, they are now losers of four games in a row. The Rockets in the first half of the game hung in tight with the Spurs. But the second half the Spurs put the foot on the gas and were able to keep a 20-point lead for pretty much the rest of the game.
Below are three takeaways from the loss.
Time for some kind of change
There are plenty of the things the Rockets can do to fix a whole bunch of problems the team has. But the easiest at the moment might be as simple as running the offensive inside/out, especially when the Rockets get bogged down and start launching threes.
Dwight Howard right now is playing some damn fine offensive basketball. Letting the offensive run through him could help the Rockets keep moving. A lot of times when James Harden isn't feeling it, he will poke and prod the defense and if nothing is there, he'll pass the ball off with two or three seconds on the shot clock for a badly rushed three-pointer.
If you give Howard the ball, he could score, hit guys cutting into the lane or pass out to guys from the post. Howard isn't the worst passer in the league and at this point, just start giving more teams more to think about other than just guarding the three point line.
At one point, this game was tied
With 8:36 to go the game was tied at 65, then the Spurs essentially said, "Hey guys, we are playing the Rockets," and then proceeded to go on a 16-2 run and never looked back. The Spurs defensive tightened up and the Rockets started taking threes, playing right into their hands.
With the game tied at 65, of the Rockets 13 shots the Rockets took, 8 of them were threes. The Spurs took 14 shots and only three were from behind three-point line. One team scored 36 points in the third,, the other scored 17. Can you guess which team did what?
I'm over Terrence Jones
I am about to share a stat that might cause you to drive off the road. If you are reading this story on your smartphone please pull over.
The Rockets were -36 with Terrence Jones on the floor Saturday night.
Jones has those games where he makes you believe he could be the great. Then he leaves you wondering, "What exactly does he do?"
Jones finished the game with 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists, but he was completely lost on defense.
98-year-old Boris Diaw went off for 20 points and why? Because time after time he lost Diaw. I really don't understand how that's possible to do. Diaw could have brought his walker in from the Spurs locker room and scooted around the court on it and still managed to get away from Jones.
So Boris Diaw has a new nickname: Tea Time. Let Danny Green explain .... pic.twitter.com/oxfGphvJX7— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) January 3, 2016
Who exactly was Terrence Jones covering? Not Boris Diaw that's for sure. #Rockets https://t.co/UzCVptKGrQ— Dr. Joshua Reese (@MrJoshua) January 3, 2016
This was just one of many, but let's look at it, how did "tea time" get away.
Jones is guarded by Diaw, Kawhi Leonard is being chased around a Diaw pick by Trevor Ariza. Jones instead of stepping up to stop Leonard's penetration or just going to cover Diaw like he was supposed to, gives Leonard too much space. Leonard then passes to a wide open Diaw and the Rockets are left with a long run by Ariza to try and run Diaw off the line.
Jones's man was Diaw. He shoul have just let Leonard get into the paint. He had two MUCH better defenders behind him. Dwight Howard was in the paint ready to block a shot and Patrick Beverley was on the wing ready to get in the lane.
This is a bigger problem than just Jones, but he needs to do his job so he doesn't leave someone opposing players wide open over and over.